Since 1997, we have planted over 12 million trees.

Our Story

Since the late 1990s, the monarch butterfly population has fallen dramatically. This dangerous decline has been linked to loss of winter habitat in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, due to unsustainable logging and clear-cutting; heavy use of pesticides and herbicides in the U.S. and Canada that kill milkweed, the plant crucial to the monarch’s breeding survival; heavy use of neonicotinoids (neonics) that kill pollinators through poisoned nectar; as well as global climate change.

At Forests for Monarchs, a program of La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, we reforest land in and around the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve where millions of monarchs spend each winter, and in the Highland Lakes watershed area in Michoacán, Mexico.

Our Mission

To support the long-term survival of the monarch butterfly through the conservation and restoration of crucial forest land. To do that, we reforest both the Monarch Biosphere Reserve and badly degraded land owned by indigenous communities, ejidos, and farmers.

Our Founders

Founded in 1997, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project (dba: Forests for Monarchs) started with friends coming together to solve a problem. Jose Luis Alvarez, Dr. Lincoln Brower, Bob Small, and Ed Rashin created Forests for Monarchs to address the deforestation and habitat loss within and around the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and Buffer Zone. Jose Luis had already been restoring land around his tree nursery, but as the project grew, trees were donated beyond his neighbors and throughout the Highland Lakes Watershed region.

Pictured: Jose Luis Alvarez, Dr. Lincoln Brower, Bob Small, Ed Rashin